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Bulldogs Head to New York for Pair of Ivy Contests

Bulldogs Head to New York for Pair of Ivy Contests

Feb. 18, 2009

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Coming off of a split last weekend at Princeton and Penn, the Yale women’s basketball team wraps up a four-game road swing with weekend contests at Ivy League foes Cornell and Columbia. Friday night’s game against Big Red will feature Live Stats beginning at 7 p.m. Saturday’s contest in New York City, also slated for a 7 p.m. tip-off, will also feature Live Stats courtesy of the home team, as well as a live audio stream at, the online home of Yale’s student radio station, with Jordan Malter calling the action. The Bulldogs enter the weekend at 10-12 overall and 3-5 in Ivy League play.

Yale put forth two solid defensive efforts last weekend to earn a road split. The Bulldogs came back from a seven-point halftime deficit to knock off Princeton, 56-54, on Friday night and earn their first win at Jadwin Gym since 2002. Junior forward Melissa Colborne led Yale with 17 points and eight rebounds. On Saturday at Penn, senior captain Jamie Van Horne knocked down five three-pointers, and Colborne led the way once again with 16 points, but the Bulldogs fell to the host Quakers by a final score of 62-46.

Junior forward Melissa Colborne leads Yale this season with 15.6 points per contest. She also leads the way in field goal percentage (.460) and free throw percentage (.821). Senior captain Jamie Van Horne heads the Bulldogs’ efforts beyond the arc with 2.4 three-pointers made per game, with sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield has been the most efficient shooter from downtown at .362. Junior forward Haywood Wright leads the squad on the boards with 7.5 rebounds per contest and has swatted a team-best 1.6 blocked shots per game. Sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht leads the way in offensive rebounds (2.5 per game) , assists (3.5) and steals (1.6).

With a 3-5 mark in league play, the Bulldogs find themselves down, though not out, in the hunt for their first Ivy League title since the 1978-79 season. Dartmouth is in the driver’s seat for the title, holding a perfect 7-0 league mark halfway through the league schedule. The league-leading Big Green will host Penn and Princeton this weekend, as will second-place Harvard (5-2).

Junior forwards Melissa Colborne (Nov. 24) and Haywood Wright (Dec. 22) each earned Ivy League Player of the Week honors earlier this season. Additionally, freshman forward Michelle Cashen (Dec. 29) took home an Ivy League Rookie of the Week laurel during the non-conference slate.

Yale was 7-7 in Ivy League last season, its best conference record since the 2001-02 campaign. The Bulldogs swept Brown and Columbia, dropped two decisions to Cornell and Dartmouth and split with Harvard, Penn and Princeton. Forward Melissa Colborne was the lone sophomore to earn first team All-Ivy honors, and just the second Bulldog to do so since 1998, while Lindsey Williams was unanimously selected to the All-Ivy Rookie Team.

In the Ivy League Preseason Poll, the Bulldogs were selected to repeat their 2007-08 fourth place finish. After winning the Ivy League title outright in 2006-07 and sharing the crown in 2007-08, the Harvard Crimson have once again been tabbed to win the Ivy in 2008-09, as voted on by the media and women’s basketball sports information directors of the Ancient Eight. Harvard notched 128 total points and 10 of 17 first place votes Dartmouth, who along with Harvard and Cornell shared the Ivy title at 11-3 last season, was slotted to place second with 117 points and four first place votes. Big Red received the other three first place votes and 94 points overall to land in third place. Cornell will have an upward climb to stay on par with the other 2007-08 co-champions of the Ivy League, as reigning Ivy League Player of the Year Jeomi Maduka has left the program to pursue track and field. The Bulldogs are the first team behind the trio of 2007-08 champions in the poll, garnering 83 points. The preseason poll is rounded out by Columbia (74 points), Penn (52), Princeton (46) and Brown (18).

The Cornell Big Red enters the weekend at 7-13 overall and tied with Yale at 3-5 in Ivy League action. Cornell is led by three starters who have all average 30+ minutes of action per game: leading scorer and rebounder Shanna Scarselletta (11.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg), three-point specialist Allie Fedorowicz (10.5 ppg) and the second-most prolific assist distributor in the Ivy League, Lauren Benson (9.9 ppg, 4.7 apg). Big Red has dropped four straight decisions, with its last win coming in New Haven on Jan. 31. Most recently, Cornell dropped a pair of games at Ivy League leaders Harvard and Dartmouth.

Including this season’s meeting, Big Red has won four straight against Yale to hold a 40-20 lead in the all-time series.

Junior forward Haywood Wright scored a team-high 13 points and hauled in six rebounds, but the Bulldogs never found their stroke at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven on Jan. 31, falling to Cornell in a defensive struggle by a score of 57-42. Sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield joined Wright in double figures with 11 points. Cornell’s Allie Fedorowicz led all scorers with 17 points, while Lauren Benson tallied 15 for Big Red.

The Columbia Lions, who will host Brown on Friday before the Bulldogs visit Levien Gym on Saturday, enter the weekend at 11-11 and 4-4 in Ancient Eight play. Columbia is led by Judie Lomax, the nation’s leading rebounder at 13.8 boards per game. She is also the sole Lion to average double-figure points with 14.1 per contest. Danielle Browne averages a team-best 4.1 assists per game and is the team’s second-leading scorer with 8.7 points per game. Most recently, the Lions pulled off an upset in Cambridge, Mass. to salvage a weekend split in a road swing against the Ivy League’s top two teams, Dartmouth and Harvard.

After Yale’s 63-61 win in New Haven this season, the Bulldogs now hold a 37-12 lead in the all-time series. The Columbia-Yale series, in which the Bulldogs have now won three straight, has been a sweep in each of the last four seasons.

Junior forwards Melissa Colborne and Haywood Wright shared the game high with 17 points apiece as the Bulldogs edged the visiting Lions by a score of 63-61 on Jan. 30 in the Elm City. Freshman forward Michelle Cashen added 10 points for Yale and sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht hauled in a team-best 11 rebounds. Danielle Browne led Columbia with 16 points and Judie Lomax ripped down a game-high 18 boards and tallied 14 points for the Lions.

With seven three-pointers this past weekend at Princeton and Penn, senior guard Jamie Van Horne has knocked down 206 career treys. The all-time leader in three-point field goals at Yale is the fifth player in Ivy League history to eclipse 200 career three-pointers. Van Horne, who is shooting 52-for-144 (.361) from beyond the arc in 2008-09, sank 59 triples in 2007-08, the second highest single-season total in Yale history. She is the only Bulldog to appear four times in the single-season top 10. The single-season mark at Yale belongs to Maria Smear ‘03, who sank 62 treys in the 2000-01 season. Van Horne is currently on pace to surpass Smear’s record, needing 11 three-pointers in her final six games to do so.

10 of the Bulldogs’ 22 contests this season have been tied within the final three minutes of the second half. Additionally, 16 of their 22 games have been decided by fewer than 10 points, including five of their eight Ivy League contests.

Despite traveling more than 3,000 miles for road contests at UC Irvine and UC Riverside on Dec. 28 and 30, several Bulldogs were right at home in the Golden State. Head Coach Chris Gobrecht is a graduate of the University of Southern California. She also coached in California for 13 seasons, patrolling the sidelines at California State-Fullerton from 1979-85 and at Southern California from 1997-04. Gobrecht also spent time in the Pacific Time Zone from 1985-96 as head coach of the Washington Huskies in the Pac-10 Conference. Her daughter, sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht, also lived in California during her mother’s stint on the west coast. Additionally, senior guard Jamie Van Horne (Healdsburg), junior forward Haywood Wright (Irvine) and sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield (Los Angeles) all hail from California.

The Bulldogs have been one of the top free throw shooting teams in the Ivy League this season at 349-for-481 (.726), slotting them at 49th in all of Division I from the line. Junior forward Melissa Colborne, a career .775 free throw shooter, has drilled 133 of her 162 attempts (.821) from the charity stripe in 2008-09. She holds the career record for made free throws at Yale with 390, and is 38 free throw attempts shy of the career record in that category. Colborne rates second in the Ivy League in free throw percentage, with the most attempts of all players in the top 10. She matched her own Yale record with a 12-for-12 day at the line on Dec. 8 at Stony Brook, and also set the program record for most made free throws in a game with 14 (on 16 attempts) at UC Riverside on Dec. 30. Colborne hit 22 consecutive free throws this season, a streak spanning from the second half on the Nov. 29 win over New Hampshire to the first half of the Dec. 10 contest at Army. Sophomore guard Yoyo Greenfield ranks fifth in the Ancient Eight, shooting 68-for-87 (.782) on free throw attempts this season.

After dropping a 64-62 decision to Brown on Jan. 16, the Bulldogs traveled to Providence on Jan. 23 to wrap up the home-and-home season series. Yale turned in its best defensive performance since 1996, surrendering just 37 points to the Bears in a 71-37 trouncing. The 34-point margin of victory was the largest for the Bulldogs since 1987 and is the largest in an Ivy League game this season.

Once again in 2008-09, Bulldogs’ fans can watch home games from the John J. Lee Amphitheater live and free of charge via the Yale All*Access package. All Yale All*Access content will also be archived on The webcasts include audio commentary by WYBC, Yale’s student radio station. To access the feed, click on the Yale All*Access logo in the upper right corner of the Yale Athletics home page, or the “watch” link on the schedule. Viewers will need to create an account by entering a username and password. Since it is airing live on the YES Network, the Feb. 6 contest against Harvard will not be a part of the Yale All*Access package.

• Minnesota (L, 87-63), UC Irvine (W, 75-66), UC Riverside (L, 72-65), NJIT (W, 74-66) and Bryant (W, 77-71) were all first-time opponents.
• Bucknell (L, 73-70) and Minnesota (L, 87-63) marked two of the three 2008-09 Yale opponents that participated in last season’s Division I NCAA Tournament. Ivy League foe Cornell also went to the Big Dance in 2007-08. Additionally, Division I newcomer Bryant (W, 77-71) competed in the Division II NCAA Tournament last season.
• Yale’s 14 non-conference games featured eight different conferences (America East, Atlantic 10, Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big West, Northeast, Patriot and Southeastern) as well as two independents (New Jersey Institute of Technology and Bryant).

Though there are 32 American universities with the “Bulldogs” mascot, the Jan. 13 win over Bryant marked just the second time that Yale women’s basketball had met another team sporting the “Bulldogs” moniker. The Yale Bulldogs dropped a 69-48 decision to the Gonzaga Bulldogs on Nov. 29, 2003 as a part of the Seattle Times Classic.

Sophomore forward Mady Gobrecht is the daughter of head coach Chris Gobrecht. They are one of two active mother-daughter, coach-player tandems in Division I women’s basketball (Southern Mississippi: Coach Joye Lee-McNelis and Whitney McNelis). This is the sixth time in Yale’s 156-year athletic history that a head coach is mentoring his or her child in a varsity sport, and the first where the combo is mother-daughter (men’s fencing: Robert & Maurice Grasson, 1936-38; baseball: Smoky Joe & Joseph Wood, 1939-41; men’s basketball: Howard & David Hobson, 1952-55; men’s squash: John & Jack Skillman, 1954-55; football: Jordan & Harry Olivar, 1957-59).

The Bulldogs wrap up their 2008-09 home schedule next weekend with Ivy League showdowns with Penn and Princeton. The Quakers visit Lee Amphitheater on Friday, while the Tigers travel to the Elm City for Senior Night on Saturday. Both contests are schedule to begin at 7 p.m.

report filed by Drew M. Kingsley, Yale Sports Publicity